Press Release – Auckland Council
Supporting responsible dog owners and giving local boards the ability to set dog rules reflecting the needs of their local community, are among recommendations for inclusion in the council’s new policy and bylaw on dogs.
After more than 10,000 submissions, a month of hearings and two days of deliberations, the council’s hearing committee have recommended a revised policy and bylaw on dogs for the region.
“Submitters were very passionate in their views on this subject and I believe the changes we have made balance the needs of dog owners with the need to ensure public safety and comfort in a way that will create a more dog-friendly city,” says hearings committee chairperson Noelene Raffills.
Among the topics which drew most interest was the proposal to have a region-wide standard time and season applied to all current beach time and season dog access rules.
“It would be safe to say that while in general there was support to region-wide approach, the proposed standard time and season was unpopular with dog owners who questioned restrictions in winter, for example, when beaches were empty,” says Cr Raffills.
As a result the committee has recommended that:
• Local boards undertake a review of their current time and season dog access rules before implementing any changes
• Current time and season dog access rules remain in place until such time as each local board completes its review
• A region-wide standard summer time and season on specified beaches run from 10am to 5pm between Saturday of Labour Weekend and 1 March (not 6.30pm and 31 March as proposed)
• That the region-wide standard summer time and season not apply to any Hauraki Gulf island, including Waiheke and Great Barrier Island
• That there is no standard winter time and season
• That local boards be empowered to decide which beaches the region-wide standard summer time and season will apply to.
The new policy and bylaw will need to be formally adopted by the governing body at its November meeting. The new rules, with the exception of time and season dog access rules subject to the local boards’ reviews, are recommended to come in to effect from July 2013.
Editor’s note: The summer time and season would only apply on those beaches that currently have a one. Whatever the current access rules (prohibited, on-leash or off-leash) are on those beaches will stay the same but within the new time and season, and as per the committee’s recommendation, until local boards complete a review of these access rules.